Greek Senate
The Greek Senate was the upper chamber of the parliament
A parliament is a legislature, especially in those countries whose system of government is based on the Westminster system modeled after that of the United Kingdom. The name is derived from the French , the action of parler : a parlement is a discussion. The term came to mean a meeting at which...

 in Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

, extant several times in the country's history.

Local senates during the War of Independence

During the early stages of the Greek War of Independence
Greek War of Independence
The Greek War of Independence, also known as the Greek Revolution was a successful war of independence waged by the Greek revolutionaries between...

, prior to the establishment of a centralized administration, a number of regional councils
Greek local statutes
The Greek Local Statutes were the local assemblies of Greece during the Greek War of Independence who codified certain 'proto-constitutions' ratified by local assemblies with the aim of eventually establishing a centralized Parliament under a...

 were established, most of which were termed "senate", but which were unicameral bodies: the Senate of Western Continental Greece
Senate of Western Continental Greece
The Senate of Western Continental Greece was a provisional regime that existed in western Central Greece during the early stages of the Greek War of Independence.- History :...

, the Areopagus of Eastern Continental Greece
Areopagus of Eastern Continental Greece
The Areopagus of Eastern Continental Greece was a provisional regime that existed in eastern Central Greece during the Greek War of Independence.- Background :...

 (sometimes referred to as "senate"), and the Peloponnesian Senate.


A unicameral body with purely advisory functions, the Senate was established in 1829 by the Fourth National Assembly at Argos
Fourth National Assembly at Argos
The Foutth National Assembly at Argos was a Greek convention which sat at Argos from 11 July to 6 August 1829, during the Greek War of Independence....

 in replacement of the Panellinion, established the previous year. It had 27 members, 21 of whom were chosen by the Governor (Ioannis Kapodistrias
Ioannis Kapodistrias
Count Ioannis Antonios Kapodistrias |Academy of Athens]] Critical Observations about the 6th-Grade History Textbook"): "3.2.7. Σελ. 40: Δεν αναφέρεται ότι ο Καποδίστριας ήταν Κερκυραίος ευγενής." "...δύο ιστορικούς της Aκαδημίας κ.κ...

) from 63 candidates nominated by the Assembly, and further six who were appointed directly by the Governor. Georgios Sisinis
Georgios Sisinis
Georg Sisinis was a Greek politician and a Greek revolutionary leader.-Biography:He was born in Gastouni in the modern Ilia Prefecture and descended from a rich and historic family of the area. During the Ottoman rule, he was a chief of Gastouni. He had participated in the Secret Society in 1819...

 was elected as its president. After Kapodistrias' murder in 1831, the Senate appointed a series of governing councils to lead the state. In 1832, the Fifth National Assembly at Nafplion
Fifth National Assembly at Nafplion
The Fifth National Assembly of the Greeks convened at Argos on 5 December 1831, before relocating to Nafplion in early 1832.The Assembly, the last of a series of similar conventions of the Greek War of Independence, approved the selection, by the Great Powers, of the Bavarian prince Otto as King...

 abolished the Senate, but the Senate refused to recognize the act, and survived until the arrival of King Otto
Otto of Greece
Otto, Prince of Bavaria, then Othon, King of Greece was made the first modern King of Greece in 1832 under the Convention of London, whereby Greece became a new independent kingdom under the protection of the Great Powers .The second son of the philhellene King Ludwig I of Bavaria, Otto ascended...

 in February 1833.


The Senate as an upper chamber was established by the Greek Constitution of 1844
Greek Constitution of 1844
The first constitution of the Kingdom of Greece was the Greek Constitution of 1844. On 3 September 1843, the military garrison of Athens, with the help of citizens, rebelled and demanded from King Otto the concession of a Constitution....

. The Senate had 27 members, appointed for life by the King, who in addition could appoint further members up to one half of the statutory number. The Senate, seen as a reactionary body and essentially dependent upon the King, was abolished by the Greek Constitution of 1864
Greek Constitution of 1864
The Second National Assembly of the Hellenes took place in Athens and dealt both with the election of a new sovereign as well as with the drafting of a new Constitution, thereby implementing the transition from constitutional monarchy to a Crowned Democracy.Following the refusal of Prince Alfred...



On 2 January 1924, the Fourth National Assembly convened and decided the abrogation of the dynasty as well as the abolition of the crowned democracy (a decision which was ratified by referendum on 13 April 1924), establishing the Second Hellenic Republic
Second Hellenic Republic
The Second Hellenic Republic is the term used to describe the political regime of Greece from 1924 to 1935. It followed from the period of the constitutional monarchy under the monarchs of the House of Glücksburg, and lasted until its overthrow in a military coup d'état which restored the monarchy...


Whilst the Fourth Constitutional Assembly was working towards the completion of the new Constitution, the coup d'état of General Theodoros Pangalos
Theodoros Pangalos
Theodoros Pangalos is a Greek politician and leading member of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement. He currently serves as the Vice-President of the Greek government, responsible for the coordination of the Government Council for Foreign Affairs and Defense and the new Economic & Social Policy...

 took place. After the fall of his dictatorship in 1926, the "Parliament of the First Term" was elected, which, finally, voted through the Constitution of 1927.

Legislative power was exercised by the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. The Chamber was made up of 200-300 members elected for a four-year term by direct, secret and universal ballot. The Senate was composed of 120 members elected for a nine-year term, but its synthesis was renewed every three years by 1/3. At least 9/12 of the senators were elected by the people, 1/12 by the Chamber and the Senate in a common session at the onset of each parliamentary term, whereas the remaining 2/12 were elected on the basis of a principle of representation of the professions.

In the event of disagreement between the two houses in the voting of a law, the Constitution established the supremacy of the Chamber's vote.

Another significant element was the explicit institution of the parliamentary system. For the first time, the Greek Constitution included a clause stating that the Cabinet must "enjoy the confidence of the Parliament".

The Second Hellenic Republic lasted until 1935. That year, as a result of a failed coup by the supporters of Venizelos, the military was purged, and the royalists, led by Georgios Kondylis
Georgios Kondylis
Georgios Kondylis was a general of the Greek army and Prime Minister of Greece. He was nicknamed Keravnos, Greek for "Thunder" or "Thunderbolt".-Military career:...

, launched a successful coup on 10 October. The Constitution of 1927 was abolished, the Constitution of 1911
Greek Constitution of 1911
The Greek Constitution of 1911 was a major step forward in the constitutional history of Greece. Following the rise to power of Eleftherios Venizelos after the Goudi revolt in 1909, Venizelos set about attempting to reform the state...

 was re-instated, and King George II
George II of Greece
George II reigned as King of Greece from 1922 to 1924 and from 1935 to 1947.-Early life, first period of kingship and exile:George was born at the royal villa at Tatoi, near Athens, the eldest son of King Constantine I of Greece and his wife, Princess Sophia of Prussia...

came back to the throne by a rigged referendum.
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